What are Essential Oils
Here is a very condensed simple version so that you do not glaze over and loose interest. If you want more, follow the resources at the bottom.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to help the mind and body. They are not really an oil at all, but in extracted and concentrated form. They are natural chemicals that are extracted from the leaves, flowers, stems, roots and bark of a plant. They do not prevent disease or cure anything, but they can help your body get the building blocks it needs to grow, replicate cells and fight disease. Like eating well, it gives your body the nutrients it needs if used properly. Essential oils can also purify the air and can help your mood.
Fragrance and Essential Oils are different! A fragrance, or perfume oil, are usually synthetic. Similar to the way drugs are developed, a chemist will analyze the plants' components and reproduce the chemical compositions. A fragrance scent will usually last longer than an essential oil but does not give you the full benefit of the extracted plant.
The definition of Therapeutic is not the same with essential oil. This has caused lots of confusion but it is rather simple. It is all about the quality. They usually from the first distillation and are uncut. Most oils on the market are extended by adding alcohol, propylene glycol, or acetate! Many are not pure. Look for 100% pure therapeutic grade and the full plant name. For instance: Tea tree oil is popular. The label should have the plant name of Melaleuca Alternifolia and its country of origin. AAA Australian is the high grade. This tells you that it is only from this plant and this place and is of a high grade. If it is not listed specifically then you may be getting something else with a lesser quality. Getting the oils in the best possible form is great but be cautious. It is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way!
Be responsible for yourself! As with anything, do a patch test when applying topically. Essential oils have many incredible qualities but they need to be used with caution and respect. Avoid if pregnant or under the age of 12 unless properly advised.
Please be advised that any statements you read are the opinion of the writer and are in no way meant to replace any medications that are subscribed to you by your physician. The statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. Consult a health care practitioner with an Aromatherapy Certification if you intend to ingest. Otherwise it is not recommended.
Here are some of my favorite resources if you wish to discover more.
The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils-Julia Lawless
Essential Oil Safety-Robert Tisserand/Rodney Young
pinterest site: yourlavidaessentials has a collection of great ideas!
Knowledge is empowering...
Dr. Anthony Cortez, D.C.